Wednesday, December 6

Messi’s messy dip in form

By a Staff Reporter

Messi was scoring goals for fun until the end of last season. He had 31 goals and 27 assists last season in all competitions. Despite his best efforts, Barcelona went trophyless after a long time.

Messi on his best days surpassed Gerd Muller’s 85 goals for club and country in a single calendar year. Even after that Messi didn’t mean to stop. He then partnered with Neymar and Suarez to win the treble and the trio is up there among the list of best-attacking front ever. But since the restart, Messi has dipped in form like never before.

Messi has scored 3 goals in the last 5 matches but all coming from the penalty spot. The Argentine has scored just once in four La Liga matches. Odd to hear Messi hasn’t scored from open play in 5 matches.

Reeling from the embarrassment from the Germans in UCL last season and then forced exit of close friend Luis Suarez and company, Messi then went to Manchester City to try to compel his own departure. But this was thwarted by the threat of legal action and a fight in the courts by President Josep Bartomeu.

Messi’s goals have sunk to as low as 0.25 per game in shattered spirits this term. Messi had an average of 0.75 goals per game before the coronavirus induced delay. However, when the Blaugrana ceded the La Liga crown to Real Madrid in 11 domestic clashes from June to August and were knocked out of Bayern Munich’s Champions League 8-2 after two continental fixtures, the average has dropped down to 0.53 per game.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – AUGUST 14: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks dejected after his team concede during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on August 14, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Manu Fernandez/Pool via Getty Images)

Ronald Koeman has also agreed that the returns of Lionel Messi to FC Barcelona could be better. Koeman also said that Messi is happy in Barcelona and he’s glad to see Argentine every day and feels he wants to play and be the captain of the side. ‘I still believe he was a little unlucky. I have no concerns about his results,’ added Koeman. Koeman isn’t wrong about him not being lucky though.

Messi has dropping satisfactory performance every match even though he is not on the scoresheet as often as he used to be a few years back. This could have been due to various reasons, disagreement with the board, his favorite teammates leaving the club, uncertain future, unresolved contract situation, and age-factor.

When Bartomeu shattered his ideas of change, he was disturbed. He has been a loyal servant of the club and had been carrying the club for so long. Yet when he wanted to leave, he wasn’t allowed (well at least for a year). But, in an extraordinary turn of events, Josep Maria Bartomeu has already resigned as president of Barcelona in a move that is likely to increase the chance of Lionel Messi remaining at the club. FC Barcelona is on reconstruction as they have sold several players and bought in new generation talents.

Also with the departure of Luis Suarez, Leo hasn’t been the same. He would partner with Suarez as both connected so well on the pitch as if both operated with the same mind. Messi’s assists to Suarez used to be headlines in the past years as Suarez used to net almost everything that used to come to him and vice versa. Stats also reveal that Messi and Barcelona get lost without Suarez.

Last season until March, Barcelona had 2.32 goals per game. On a personal level, Leo Messi scored 16 goals (0.84 per game on average). But since Suarez’s injury in December, the numbers were notably worse. The team’s goalscoring average had also fallen to 1.73 goals per game. Messi scored seven goals and seven assists, an average of 0.64 goals. Messi’s future remains uncertain too.

There are only a few clubs who can afford his wage, notably Manchester City and PSG at this stage. Corona Virus pandemic has shattered the economic conditions of most of the clubs. He eventually tried to leave for Manchester City as per reports but couldn’t when FC Barcelona told Leonel Messi that they could go to the court if he forced his move. So, in January it will be exciting to watch where he will be headed.

Another reason for his dip in form maybe because of the age factor, he’s 33 already. Well, we can’t expect Messi to do the same as he was in his twenties. Ronaldo and Messi have been a goal machine for the last decade, we’ve seen Messi and Ronaldo scoring in almost every game. We often forget that every good thing has to come to an end, and it won’t be long until we see these big names calling their day from this beautiful game in some years.

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